The immune system is the body’s main defense against foreign materials and biologic agents such as bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and foreign cells and tissues. The immune response includes specific action of lymphocytes (one type of white blood cell) and is facilitated by other white blood cells, including neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, eosinophils and basophils. The immune system can be viewed as a system controlled by negative feedback, meaning that normally it must reduce the effects of disturbance or invaders through self-regulation. Continue reading
Identification of new medicines for kidney disease remains an ongoing challenge in drug development. This challenge includes establishing new biochemical measurements (biomarkers) which can sensitively and accurately reflect the status of renal health and any associated changes in renal function. Sponsors are exploring many options to improve the application of biomarkers in preclinical use in order to better inform early phase safety studies and downstream clinical trials.
Katherine Landschulz, PhD, associate director of the translational biomarker solutions laboratory, and veterinarian pathologist Laura Boone, DVM, PhD, recently shared their experiences working on renal disease studies at Covance. They discussed their insights on how biomarkers are being used in preclinical studies to predict safety and advance translational medicine in drug development.
Of the 422 million people in the world with type 1 and 2 diabetes, 20-30% will develop diabetic nephropathy, also called diabetic kidney disease (DKD) – the leading cause of renal failure in the western world1.
From the perspective of drug developers, testing new therapies to prevent, treat or reverse this serious complication relies on biomarkers for timely and accurate patient identification and efficacy or safety monitoring.
Jennifer Ennis, MD, medical director at LabCorp and D. Walt Chandler, PhD, executive director at LabCorp, recently shared their thoughts on today’s biomarkers to detect and monitor DKD.
Practicing physicians frequently obtain laboratory assessments of kidney function in their routine management of patients with diabetes. Two tests that are commonly performed are the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and the urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR). Results of these tests are often used to determine patient eligibility for clinical trials of drugs to treat patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD).
One challenge that drug developers and clinical trialists face is in choosing eGFR and ACR criteria that support the aims of the clinical study—without hindering recruitment.
To address this issue, researchers at Covance and LabCorp queried a LabCorp database of 329,841 diabetic patients to analyze real-world data. They wanted to understand the distribution of eGFR and ACR values among diabetic patients in the United States and assess how these laboratory parameters predicted renal disease progression.
Current guidance on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) stresses the importance of considering comorbidity when assessing disease activity and making clinical decisions.1 Comorbidities commonly associated with RA include cardiovascular disease (CVD), lung disease and malignancy.2
The complex relationship between RA and CVD comorbidities
The presence of CVD itself has been shown to increase the risk of death in RA patients by approximately 50%,3 and there is an emerging relationship between RA, CVD and the therapies used to treat them. Continue reading
Following the rebrand and restructure of the Chinese regulatory body, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), in 2013, the regulation process now includes inspections for all multi-national and local pharmaceutical companies with drug filings in China.
As a continued commitment to meet clients’ needs and conform to local Chinese regulations, the Covance Central Laboratory Services Shanghai team (Covance CLS Shanghai) provides guidance to our clients to navigate CFDA inspections. Backed by more than 10 years of experience in China, the Covance CLS Shanghai team delivers a deeper understanding of CFDA regulatory and operational requirements and helps clients with a standardized process and corresponding documentation.
Today’s clinical trials have become more complex and expensive, pressuring pharmaceutical companies to further improve their clinical trial operations. Clinical trial data management is one area where both sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) can uncover new efficiencies, increase cost-saving measures and better meet diverse operational reporting needs across the clinical development cycle.
In this blog we begin to examine the current issues with traditional electronic data capture systems and other current “big data” approaches that attempt to address complex operational reporting needs in this historically stagnant and underserved area. We also discuss the use of two distinct data repositories – an operational data warehouse and a clinical data warehouse – the Xcellerate® Clinical Data Hub as part of a new data model through the Xcellerate Informatics Suite to provide a significant technological advance in clinical trial operations. Continue reading
No single blood test or physical finding alone can confirm the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, two tests that detect markers of inflammation are often ordered when RA is suspected: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Other common tests include rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies.
While the test results are clearly valuable to the requesting physician to inform diagnostic decisions, sponsors can also leverage this information to support patient recruitment in an increasingly competitive space. We recently evaluated how de-identified patient data from these common tests run by LabCorp can support sponsors’ clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis. Continue reading
When it comes to novel drug discovery and development, flow cytometry is known for being both a powerful and versatile technology. It can deliver valuable information to advance early biomarker development, tolerability, clinical studies and even companion diagnostics. But leveraging flow cytometry technologies to answer analytical questions and empower decision making from the research lab to the clinic requires a deep knowledge of cutting-edge approaches.
Virginia Litwin, PhD, principal scientist, hematology/flow cytometry at Covance and her team are examining current trends in rare event analyses assays to ensure that performance is well characterized and fit-for-purpose – particularly in regulated environments. They are also addressing the various hurdles associated with analyzing cellular biomarkers for immunotherapy and adoptive cell therapy. Continue reading
Providing integrated services to the global biotech and pharma industry
Covance and Arcinova recently expanded a strategic relationship following the signing of a sales services agreement at the end of 2016. Under the terms of the agreement, Covance is offering Arcinova services alongside its own extensive range of drug development capabilities.
Arcinova is a contract research and development organization based in Alnwick, UK. The Company provides small molecule drug substance, product and analytical support from preclinical through to Phase II. Since its inception in February 2016, Arcinova has built on the legacy customer base developed when it was a Covance site, and is now serving biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies on four continents. Continue reading